I like patterns, so for my updates on game dev, I’ll use the pattern I set forth today where I call out the section and what progress was made in the section. Not like you really care, but hey, patterns are comforting to me. LOL
This was probably our weakest area this past week. The lack of improvement was entirely on me because I’m the lead (and only) developer on the game. The reason why I slacked though was a good one in my eyes. My folks came to visit the fam and I hadn’t seen them for quite awhile. We did a lot of hanging out, dinners, lunches, board gaming, etc. They ate a lot of my time. Plus, Smiley came down to my neck of woods in Arizona, so of course our kids had to hang out.
In addition to that, my main dev box went into the shop. Therefore it was pretty hard to dev when the machine I’m most comfy with wasn’t around during my core coding time. I even missed a beta testing deadline that I really felt bad for, but hope to make up.
Concept Art and Character Development
I’d like to point out something before I go into the update. Smiley was sorta tasked with art originally (along with other responsibilities). Although technically, we both could step up to the job since we were both really good artists in High School and College. Here’s the thing though, we’re both way rusty. Smiley wanted to step up though, so I gladly handed off that task, knowing full well coding would eat up more than its fair share of time as my primary task. Thing is, art skills take awhile to de-rustify. Meanwhile, we ‘re sorta pushing for this whole end of October deadline for PoV’s Challenge. What to do? Well, my dad was here visiting and he’s an artist. Therefore, I asked him to whip up some things.
See, a lesser partner would be insecure and come back with, “Well, that’s my job. Your dad can’t do it. I don’t care of his stuff looks better than mine or not, it’s still my job!” Smiley took a look at some of my dad’s concept art for the darts and was like, “Uh…yeah, that’s way better than what I’ve been working on. He’s hired!” With the responsibility (and I’m sure stress/pressure) off of Smiley to produce art, he was able to focus on game design. We chatted about various dart types and another aspect of the game that we’re not ready to reveal yet. (It’s not that it’s wow-amazing, but rather we’re not ready to explain the reasoning behind it quite yet).
Therefore, while the code didn’t progress much, we pretty much nailed down the design of the game itself. Once I get the basic mechanic in place, Smiley will be able to test it and make adjustments as necessary. Another cool thing is when I had a question about how to implement the mechanic, Smiley was there with a quick and decisive answer. That was nice. One thing I hate is when I can’t decide on how to do something. Being able to ask the game designer, “Which way do you envision it?” and get a quick answer back makes my life and internal stress level go down.
Another thing that finally got settled down is a lot of the mundane business stuff: business licenses, incorporation docs, getting our corporate dev account (I’ve been using my personal one up ’til now), etc. On the one hand, it’s not very glamorous or even impressive. But on the other hand, it definitely helps to make everything seem more solid, etc.
The nice thing about incorporating is that we have talked about all the things partners should talk about but tend to avoid. We talked about splitting up, how things would end, what if things go south, how do assets get divided, what if one of us dies, etc. Yeah, it wasn’t pleasant. LOL But, it’s a great relief because we’ve had those discussions so when we go to draft up documents to lay it all out, there won’t be any uneasiness.
I’ve been spending a lot of brain cycles on sound and music. I’ll likely make the soundtrack in, well, Soundtrack. LOL A few years ago, I wrote a song for my son’s video and I think it turned out rather well. It took me like 3 days to “write” it when I made it. I’ll likely spend a few days next week dusting off Soundtrack and laying out some basics tracks.
I like music, but I have no idea how it works. LOL For instance, here’s a great start to a song of mine (flash required), but you can see where my lack of training starts to show near the end. I like what I hear and often hear songs in my head, but I should get properly schooled in the art of music. I tried to learn guitar last year, but didn’t get far. I’ll have to pick that up again so it’ll hopefully help me translate music from my head into real, audible compositions.
As for sound effects, Smiley and I can already “hear” the sounds in our heads, but we’ll have to figure out how to get them into a format you all can hear.
Well, that’s it for the update. Sorry it wasn’t as grand or as much as we hoped it would be. Smiley had a sister-in-law getting married and I had my folks. Not to mention, we’re not a true indie shop: we still have dayjobs. All in all though, I think it was still progression towards our goal and that’s always a good thing. ‘Til next week!